When I was at university I would fantasize about what it would be like to work full time. I was convinced it would be better then sitting in boring lecturers and having to read endless books. Little did I know that I would be swapping one classroom for another. I had to learn about about two different organisations and their varying policies. I had to process all this new information but there wouldn’t be a test at the end to confirm that I had the answers right. If I got it wrong, it could have a negative impact on someone’s life. That was hard to deal with.
When I finally settled into work, I had a constant battle with tiredness. The early mornings combined with the stressful daily commute was pushing me to breaking point. No one told me that it was going to be like this. Fast forward four months and things have started to get better. It’s essential to get that work/ life balance or you could end up feeling trapped. Here are a few tips that I have found useful in my working life.
One of the things I found shocking about full time work, was that I had less time to do what I wanted. In the vision of my perfect life, I didn’t see the conventional 9-5. I thought that I could live on my creativity but it wasn’t long before I realized that this wasn’t possible. You need to find working hours that suit your lifestyle. I have grown to love my 9-5 because I can use my evenings and weekends to pursue other things. When your working full time it will take longer to reach your goals because your time is limited. Be prepared for this and you will be much happier.
The only way to turn a job into a career is to work hard. Take every opportunity that is given to you and use your initiative. I am lucky enough to work in an organisation that values my opinion and gives me a great amount of creative freedom. Your job might not be as flexible but you can still suggest new ideas. At work I use Outlook to manage my daily tasks. This means that my manager can see what i’m doing and I can also make sure that I get everything done. Even if you don’t use Outlook you can set your own tasks. When you know exactly what your doing work becomes enjoyable and you will be less stressed.
Love what you do
I know that this might seem like a luxury in this economic climate but you should love your job. You spend most of your week there and see your colleagues more then family and friends. If you don’t like your job then getting up in the morning will feel like a chore. You should have already identified your interests, so make sure that your job involves some of these. For example I love working with students, writing and talking. I get to do all of these every day. The more interested you are in your job, the more enjoyable it will be.
I have found these tips helpful and I hope you do to. If you are really unhappy or find that you are unable to cope, speak to someone. A close friend or relative can help you establish the problem and come up with solutions. If thing’s don’t improve then maybe you should think about looking for another job. No one deserves to be unhappy at work.
*Have you had a hard time adjusting to full time work? I would love to hear your stories, please comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org